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KARACHI, Nov 24: The mourning procession of the 9th of Muharram culminated at the Hussainian Iranian Imambargah in Kharadar under strict security measures, including surveillance by Rangers helicopters.

The main procession emerged from the Shah-i-Khurasan Imambargah near the Nishtar Park and took its conventional route to complete the journey in more than four hours. Despite a looming security threat, the thousands of participants in the procession included women and children.

Before turning to Mansfield Street, the participants offered Zuhrain prayers on main M.A. Jinnah Road near the Masjid-o-Imambargah Ali Raza. After passing through the Preedy Street, Empress Market and Regal Chowk, the procession remerged on M.A. Jinnah Road. The procession entered Kharadar minutes after sunset.

Earlier, before the procession began, the Sindh inspector general of police, Fayyaz Leghari, and additional IG Iqbal Mahmood along with senior police officers visited its route after a briefing at the central police office.

“The IG was informed that at least 100 processions, including the main procession, were being taken out and over 573 Majalis held in the city during the first 10 days of Muharram,” said a statement issued by the CPO. “He was informed that officers and snipers have been deployed on high-rises situated along the main mourning procession route. The sealed shops and vacant houses along main M. A. Jinnah have also been under strict watch.”

The policemen, deployed at the head and tail of the main procession, had been in constant contact so that they could be issued directives from the command and control centre set up at the CPO, said the statement.

“Apart from the uniformed and regular force, the officers and personnel in plain clothes have also been deployed in the sensitive areas,” it said.

Meanwhile, the Rangers used helicopters for air surveillance of the procession routes besides a heavy deployment of the troops on ground with 21,000 city policemen.